A Defiant 84 year old Robert Mugabe is bracing for face-to-face confrontation with some African leaders at next week’s African Union (AU) Summit in Cairo, Egypt, over their statements denouncing violence in the country.
Mugabe has been accusing them of siding with the West in attacking his government as well pushing for the postponement of today’s presidential run-off, after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC pulled out citing increased politically motivated violence that has claimed over 80 lives.
The 84-year-old Mugabe announced that he would attend the AU Summit, where he would directly confront those that “made statements” about Zimbabwe, saying some of those countries were not democratic themselves.
Challenge other countries
At a rally in Chitungwiza on Thursday, some 30km south of Harare, Mugabe argued that some fellow African nations had never held elections since gaining independence from their colonial masters, while Zimbabwe had held six polls after attainment of independence from Britain in 1980.
He appeared saying on state televion, … for any country to say stop the elections, to tell us to violate our laws, would not only be unfair but completely unacceptable to us. We reject such moves, it does not matter where these are coming from but such suggestions are completely unacceptable.
He continued, “Some African countries have done worse things and when I go to the AU meeting next week, I’m going to challenge some leaders to point out when we have had worse elections. I would like some African leaders who are making these statements to point at me and we would see if those fingers would be cleaner than mine,” said Mugabe, to a round of applause.
Supporting Thabo Mbeki
He added: “We are surprised by what some SADC (Southern African Development Community) leaders are saying. Some are even calling for President Thabo Mbeki to stop current mediation efforts while others want him to be replaced. These reckless statements being made by some SADC leaders could lead to the disintegration of SADC.
“When we formed the regional bloc, it was agreed that members of the bloc would quietly intervene in areas that face problems and we have done that in some countries although we had to use military intervention in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). There are, however, some countries wanting to be better SADC members than others and Zimbabwe will never accept it,” said Mugabe.
He cited, in particular, countries such as Swaziland, Angola and Tanzania as unfit to deliberate on the affairs of Zimbabwe, but admitted that the three nations were free to make constructive suggestions.
Mugabe conceded that Tsvangirai beat him during the March 29 polls, but the MDC leader fell short of the required majority to hand him the presidency.
However, the international community continued bashing Zimbabwe left, right and centre over its violence and disregard for the rule of law and human rights following the death of over 80 MDC activists since the March 29 poll.
Human rights groups, civil societies and the international community continue to call for the isolation of the Zimbabwean government